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30 things that will happen to New Yorkers in the holidays

By Sophie Harris
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By Time Out contributors, edited by Sophie Harris

Ah, Christmas in NYC! Of course, New York is the city where dreams are made and you never quite know what you'll find around the next corner (or on the bottom of your shoe). But when it gets to holiday season, there are some things that you can count on, sure as eggnog is eggnog. (Actually, what is eggnog anyway?) Some of these things are good things. Some of these things are bad things. Mostly they're a bittersweet mix of the two (Christmas shopping, we're looking at you). Don't think too hard about it while chewing that candy cane and watching Elf or your brain will explode. Instead, pull on your ice-skates, cue up mom on FaceTime and get ready: Here are the 30 things that will happen to you in the holidays.

RECOMMENDED: The New York guide to life


1. You will carry a Christmas tree up three flights to your walk-up apartment and ignore the searing pain of your bloodied palms from the pine needles because it looks SO PRETTY with the lights on.

2. Your Christmas shopping expedition will feel like some kind of medieval, holy grail-style quest, complete with terrible foes and seemingly impossible journeys.

3. You will encounter a group of carolers on the street and, after an initial recoil of irony, will wind up trying to join them in a song, filling in only the words you know and waiting out the rest.

4. Caught up in the moment, you will buy an animatronic waving snowman to put outside your house. Then you’ll realize you don’t have a house.

5. You will have plans to go out to some fabulous party, concert, insert-other-amazing-New-York-happening, but will get sidetracked when A Charlie Brown Christmas comes on and never leave your apartment. (Same goes for While You Were Sleeping and Elf.)

6. You will—even if you are the most stone-cold stoic hipster around—walk past the holiday windows on Fifth and feel your cold, cold heart melt just a little bit.

7. Hot cider with every meal? ’Tis the season…

8. You will find yourself reconnecting with all those friends you lost touch with this year, as busy New Yorkers are wont to do. (This will last precisely through New Year’s, when you’ll lose touch again.)

9. You will place festive antlers on your cat.

10. You’ll grumble at how consumer-obsessed everyone is at this time of year—but think nothing of spending 15 bucks on a light-up Santa hat that's only good for a few days.

11. You will get a fancy blowout to wear to your office holiday party and in the morning, when you wake up still drunk with your hair matted to your face and your eyeliner smeared across your cheeks, wonder why you bothered.

12. Strolling the streets encased in a glowing, tinsel-adorned bubble, you will smile benevolently at people who bump into you on the street: It's Christmas, nothing can touch you!

13. You will bust out your best Bing Crosby in the shower.

14. You will see Santa outfits smeared with dirt (you hope) lying in puddles in the subway and wonder how they got that way.

15. You will have at least four fights with your parents over Skype.

16. You will excitedly head to Bryant Park to go skating. After 20 seconds on the ice, you will remember you can’t actually skate, but the combination of Christmas joy and hot booze means you don’t really mind eating it every two minutes.

17. You'll walk reeeeally slooooowly past the Christmas tree vendor on the sidewalk to take in as much of that pine-y, fresh scent as possible. You might even stick your face in them and breathe deeply when no one is looking.

18. You will accidentally walk past the Rockefeller Center and realize that you’re going to be stuck in a herd of slow moving tourists for at least the next 15 minutes. You will hate everything in the whole world for every single one of those minutes, especially Christmas.

29. You will try and squeeze through that tiny square hole in the plastic to give your taxi driver a drunken Christmas hug. He will not reciprocate.

20. Your English friend will make you try "mince" pies and you will feel weird for liking them.

21. You will decide you're not above making a trip to Dyker Heights to see the lights, and you'll Ooh and Aah just like everyone else.

22. You will try to get off the subway in Union Square and spend half an hour trying to find your way out of the holiday market.

23. You will get called a grinch by some irritatingly jolly stranger every time you're not actively engaging in Christmas mirth. This will just make you more grinchy.

24. You will realize you've been pretty much consistently drunk since Thanksgiving.

25. You will contemplate buying every tiny, scrawny Christmas tree you pass on the street because you feel bad for them.


26. You will arrive at the airport to fly back to your folks' place feeling chipper and whistling along to holiday tunes. Airports aren't so bad after all!

27. You will board your plane, have your wings de-iced, then de-board your plane. Three times. Then be told your flight has been cancelled. You will cry like a baby.

28. You will totally rationalize seconds, thirds and fourths of Christmas dinner.

29. You will reach a point on Christmas day where it ALL GETS TOO MUCH—and have a stiff drink. That's better.

30. You'll celebrate Christmas day Chinese-and-a-movie style and feel like the New Yorkiest New Yorker ever.

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